Copies of the "2011 Pennsylvania Big Game Records" are available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission online at The Outdoor Shop by accessing the website at www.pgc.state.pa.us, by telephone by calling toll free at 1-888-888-3459, or by mail at PGC, Dept. MS, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg 17110-9797.

Over-the-counter sales have a cost of $5, which includes sales tax; mailed copies are $6.25, which includes shipping and handling costs. For additional information, contact Pennsylvania Big Game Records Program Coordinator Bob D'Angelo at the PGC headquarters by emailing rdangelo@pa.gov.

"Nearly 300 new entries are part of this edition of Pennsylvania Big Game Records," D'Angelo said. "Among the new submissions is the new number one for typical elk taken with a firearm, by Domenic Aversa, Sr., of Woolrich, New Jersey.

"Aversa took the 7x7 elk with a spread of 52 inches, that measured 387 and seven-eights inches, in Elk County during the 2010 elk season. Also new to the list is the number four on the typical whitetail deer taken with a firearm, by Jeff Sitlinger, of Peachtree City, Georgia, and a Pennsylvania native who took the 13-point buck that scored 189-inches on Nov. 29, 2010, in Dauphin County, which is a new number four in that category."

For years, the PGC has been posting the most recent Big Game Records Scoring Program "record book" on the agency's website, and will continue to do so. In response to public requests, however, they are printed in a bound booklet with annual updates.

Pennsylvania's Big Game Scoring Program is based on the Boone & Crockett Club's scoring program that was copyrighted by that organization in 1950. Established in 1887, by Theodore Roosevelt, the B&C Club was initially organized for the conservation of wildlife and natural resources on a national basis.

In 1965, the PGC and the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writer's Association started Pennsylvania's Big Game Measuring Program, although score sheets and listings in the record book go back as far as the early 1900s, to showcase the outstanding big game hunting opportunities available in this state. Scoring and maintaining records of exceptional big game animals is important because it provides a means to compare the extraordinary whitetails, black bears and elk being taken in Pennsylvania and a starting point to sort out why an animal attained its exceptional size.

Often these animals are the product of outstanding habitat and wildlife management practices. Also, the Big Game Scoring Program stresses hunter and conservation ethics, and is another tool that promotes recreational hunting and supports Pennsylvania's strong hunting heritage.

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With the annual Autumn Hawk Watch now underway at Hawk Mountain Sancuary, the agency has launched a new website with a new look and the option to use the easy-to-use GoogleTranslate navigation. Included are images of Hawk Mountain, raptors in flight and features include the "Raptor Count" page with records available back to 1934 and a "RaptorPedia" that serves as a resource for birds of prey.

In addition, migration counts are updated daily at 6 p.m. on the page, which lists the first week's total at 541 raptor migrant birds, including 318 broadwings and 44 bald eagles. A forecast and prediction for the next day is available by calling the Migration Hotline at (610) 756-6000, Ext. 6, and feedback can be submitted by email at info@hawkmountain.org.

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Tuscarora and Locust Lake State Park, Barnesville, is holding the following events for Labor Day weekend: Today Lake View Trail Hike, 1-4 p.m., with naturalist Robin Tracey, Tuscarora State Park; Star Party, 8 p.m., Locust Lake Amphitheatre with members of the Hazleton Area Astronomical Society.

Sunday, Sept. 4 - Spirit Trail Hike, 1-4 p.m., with conservation volunteer "Pap" Knauss, Tuscarora State Park; Creature Feature, 6-8 p.m., with Tri-Valley biology teacher Pam Ulicny, Locust Lake Amphitheatre.

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A series of basic kayaking courses for those 12 years of age and older will be held at Tuscarora State Park, Barnesville, and kayaks, paddles and personal flotation devices are available for those without their own equipment and preregistration is required by signing up at the park office prior to the event or by calling 570-467-2506. Classes will be held Sunday, Sept. 4, 3 p.m.: Friday, Sept. 9, 4 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 15, 4 p.m.; Wednesday, Sept. 21, 4 p.m.

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Bears Head Archery, Delano, located one mile off Exit 134, Interstate 81, has its 3-D course open daily to the public from dawn to dusk through Saturday, Oct. 15. Donations are accepted, and for information, contact Frank Blazusky at 570-467-0331 or docblazer@verizon.net.

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This week's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, Sunday, at 7 a.m. on 1410 WLSH and 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5, will feature "Must Have Outdoors" television host Andrew Howard.

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This year's second and final Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission "Fish-for-Free Day," which allows resident or non-resident anglers to legally fish without a fishing license on all Pennsylvania waters, will be held Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5. All other fishing regulations still apply.

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A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, Sept. 8, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail jafone@comcast.net.

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This year's Schuylkill County Sportsmen's Association Banquet will be held, Saturday, Sept. 10, beginning at 5 p.m., at the Community Fire Company, Landingville. For information, call Ron Blew at 570-943-2900.

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This year's Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show will be held, Wednesday-Sunday, Sept. 14-18, at Hersheypark Giant Center, Hershey. Hours are, Wednesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, access the website at www.largestrvshow.com.

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This year's "Pennsylvania Bowhunters Festival" will be held, Friday-Sunday, Sept. 16-18, at Sullivan County Fairgrounds, Forksville. For information, access the website at www.pabowhunters.com or call Bill Feese at 570-525-3635.

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This year's Schuylkill County Friends of NRA Banquet will be held, Thursday, Oct. 6, beginning at 5 p.m., at St. Nicholas Hall, Minersville. For tickets and information, call Mike McCord at 570-628-1382, Gary Reibsane at 717-647-4314 or Harry Meyers at 570-691-7564.